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5th LANGUNE General Assembly. Language industries in the Basque Country had a turnover of €278m in 2013

Mar 19, 2014

This figure means a 0.5% growth compared to the previous year, in a sector with a total of 5,058 employees in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, whose number of workers increased by 1.26% in the last year

The Language Industries sector of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country had a turnover of €277,692,571 last year – a 0.5% increase over last year, in a sector employing 5,058 people, meaning a growth of 1.26% compared to 2013 and accounting for 0.63% of the employed population in the Basque Country.

The sector’s aims for 2014 are to maintain employment and increase turnover by 0.87%. Most of the companies in this sector are situated in Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa (83%). This information was released today at the Annual General Assembly of LANGUNE in the Donostia-San Sebastián Science and Technology Park.

The Strategic Plan 2014-2017 was presented at the LAGUNE General Assembly. Its main challenge is to position Language Industries as a strategic sector for the Basque Country. This industrial sector wishes to address three great challenges, i.e. foster multilingualism management in companies, boost linguistic technologies for smart specialisation, and promote the Basque Country as a model for other minority languages.

As Fernando Alana, Director General of LANGUNE, explained, sector companies and the Association itself are starting a new period (2014-2017), “where inter-entrepreneurial and multisectoral collaboration is critical in order to strengthen the sector and successfully tackle technological and entrepreneurial innovation, and the global positioning, dimension and visibility of the sector.”  In this sense the Strategic Plan envisages the development of 27 projects, 19 of which are in collaboration with sector companies, and between sector companies and agents in this context. The budget foreseen to develop the projects in the aforementioned period is estimated at €4.6m.

Another of LANGUNE’s goals is to become an international benchmark for clusters, “strategic in the social and economic development of our context”, providing a solution to the challenges of the language industries.

In this sense, the quantitative goals of the Strategic Plan include doubling the number of member companies that export and the percentage of exports reflected in their turnover; reaching an investment of around 15% in R&D&I; and tripling the number of innovation initiatives fostered by LANGUNE. In addition, the Association aims to group 40% of the turnover and employment of the sector total in this four-year period.

Guests attending the session included Jorge Giménez, Director of Language Research and Co-ordination of the Basque Government’s Vice-Ministry of Language Policy; and Marian Gabilondo, Innovation Unit Manager at Bic Berrilan and interlocutor with LANGUNE, appointed by the Basque Vice-Ministry of Industry’s Internationalisation Department. Both showed interest in learning first hand the activities planned by the Language Industries sector.

During the General Assembly, the Association’s Board of Directors was partially renewed with the new incorporations of Vicomtech-IK4, representing the IK4 alliance; Iametza Interaktiboa; and Elduaien language academy, while maintaining Josu Waliño of Elhuyar as Chairman and Begoña García of MondragonLingua as Vice-Chairwoman of the Association. LANGUNE Chairman, Josu Waliño, expressed his gratitude to all the member companies, sector bodies, and agents from the sector for their participation in the reflexive process.

The session came to an end with speeches by Antoni Mir, Director of the Catalan Cluster of Language Industries, Clusterlingua; and Iris Córdoba, Director of Madrid Spanish Platform. They reported on the situation of their respective sectors and suggested collaboration initiatives with LANGUNE companies.

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